Glam Slam: Makeup Mondays — Spring Cleaning

It’s officially Spring! Make sure when you tackle your Spring cleaning that you don’t forget your beauty cabinet. When should you toss out your makeup and other beauty products? Skin Care Professional Annet King, Director of Global Education at Dermalogica (celeb fans include Jennifer Aniston, Victoria Beckham, Jennifer Hudson and Nicole Richie) has the answers!

“First and foremost, bacteria loves water and fats so keep that in mind as products containing these ingredients are often the first to go rancid. Makeup and skincare products that are exposed to air get applied directly to your mouth, eyes/skin or require you to dip in a finger or applicator are at much higher risk for going bad. Also, if you keep your makeup in your bathroom which is a hot, humid and bacteria laden environment, then this is also lowers the products shelf life. Direct sunlight also breaks a product down more quickly.

Here are some signs to look for when trying to determine if a product has gone bad: odor, changes in color and separation issues. An off-odor can indicate rancidity or spoilage due to microbial contamination.

When it comes to skincare, look for hygienic packaging and product dose delivery, i.e., tubes or pumps NOT jars or tubs. Most recognized brand products are formulated to last two years-plus after opening but this varies depending on the manufacturer, type of product, preservative systems, delivery and formula.

Organic might sound good to you, but there aren’t any solid universal laws to define or regulate the use of this term in skincare, so pretty much anyone can say organic for marketing purposes (i.e., it might be one ingredient not the whole combined product). If the product doesn’t contain preservatives, think of it like food and use it up quickly or you could get a nasty eye infection. Most skincare products are consumed quickly as you use them twice a day so ideally use them up within 6 months and keep them in a cool dark place (some people keep their products in the fridge!).

One other thing to note: clear packaging that lets in UV might also affect shelf life. I suggest looking for manufacturers that offer different sizes of packaging or samples to try before you invest in a large size.”



  • Creamy products like cleansers, masques, moisturizers and eye creams – 4 to 6 months.
  • Gel products like cleansers, masques, acne treatments and eye gels – 6 months.
  • Water based toners – 4 to 6 months (can keep in the fridge).
  • Creamy or gel scrubs and shower gels – 4 months (if kept in shower).
  • Serums and boosters – 4 to 6 months.
  • Sunscreens – should always use within a year even though expiration date is two years. (People mainly use sunscreens in the Summer months so don’t always use up the bottle each season…but ideally you should replace each year.)


  • Foundation, lipstick, cream blush and cream eyeshadow (all contain fats/waxes that come in contact with lips directly or finger application) – 4 to 6 months.
  • Gel or liquid mascara and eyeliner (high risk due to pumping applicator, delivering air and water content) – 3 to 4 months.
  • Eyeliner, brow pencils and lip pencils (sharpen each time before use) –8 to 12 months.
  • Lip gloss (we tend to re-apply more often) – 3 months.
  • Powder blush, eyeshadow and foundations (look for shake-able delivery) – 6 months.
  • Nail polishes (tend to separate and then don’t perform well) – 8 to 12 months.
  • Silicone based or anhydrous (means no water) based products like primers, eye firmers and barrier moisturizers – 12 months.

A few other tips:

  • Be sure to wash brushes weekly in warm water with your gel cleanser.
  • Throw away sponge applicators, etc. weekly.
  • Wash foundation sponges before each use.
  • Scrape lipstick off with a spatula and apply with a brush.
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